In what looks like reconciliatory move, Unites States of American President Donald Trump Wednesday afternoon advised Iran to embrace peace amidst raging fallout over the killing of its top general last week.
To this end, the U.S. leader asked Iran to stop being a rogue-state and instead, join other countries across the world to focus on common developmental goals.
He spoke hours after Iran fired more than a dozen rockets at two Iraqi military bases where Americans were staying.
Iran said it was satisfied by the missiles it fired, saying it was a reprisal for the killing in a U.S. drone strike on January 2 of Qassem Soleimani, a long-time military chief and strategist.
Speaking on the development, the U.S. president said: “The destruction of ISIS is good for Iran and we should work together on this and other shared priorities.”
Sounding confident during a televised address Wednesday, the American leader said: “Our missiles are big, powerful, accurate, lethal and fast. The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean that we have to use it.”
Trump further said America has continued to improve its nuclear and other military arsenal since he assumed office, but peace was a far better option.
The American leader also confirmed no American soldiers were killed or wounded in the attacks, which he said indicated Iran was “standing down.”
“No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases,” Trump also said.
“Our great American forces are prepared for anything. Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world,” the U.S. leader further said.
It was proportionate decision-Iran
Earlier Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed a gathering of Iranians chanting “Death to America.”
He said Iran’s attacks were a “slap on the face” of the United States and said U.S. troops should leave the region.
Also speaking, Tehran’s foreign minister said Iran took “proportionate measures” in self-defence and did not seek an escalation.
Trump’s reaction in the immediate aftermath of the attacks had been to say on Twitter that “All is well!” and that Washington was assessing damage.
Trump’s early tweet and the comment by Iran’s foreign minister had acted to soothe some initial concerns about a wider war and calmed jittery financial markets.
U.S. and European government sources said they believed Iran had deliberately sought to avoid U.S. military casualties in its missile strikes to prevent an escalation.
Earlier on Wednesday, an Iranian army spokesman had denied “foreign media reports” suggesting there had been some kind of coordination between Iran and the United States before the attack to allow bases to be evacuated, Fars news agency said.
The U.S. president, who was impeached last month and faces an election this year, had at the weekend threatened to target 52 Iranian sites if Iran retaliated for Soleimani’s killing.
Iranian state television said Iran had fired 15 ballistic missiles from its territory at U.S. targets in its neighbour Iraq early on Wednesday. The Pentagon said al-Asad air base and another facility in Erbil were struck.
Iranian state television had said 80 “American terrorists” had been killed and U.S. helicopters and military equipment had been damaged. But it did not say how it obtained that information.
Germany, Denmark, Norway and Poland said none of their troops in Iraq were hurt. Britain, which also has personnel in Iraq, condemned the Iranian action and said Tehran “should not repeat these reckless and dangerous attacks”.
Iraq said its forces did not suffer casualties.
More than 5,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq along with the other foreign forces in a coalition that has trained and backed Iraqis against the threat of Islamic State militants. (Reuters)
Some Iranian media had earlier claimed between 30 to 80 American soldiers were killed, but subsequent events later exposed that report as mere propaganda.
But since no one was killed either on the American or Iraqi side, speculation had become rife about why the missiles were fired in the first place.
Some analysts said the attacks were Iran’s way of showing it could attack American bases with precision in the Middle East if it chooses to.
Iran is also believed to have tipped off the Iraqi’s before the attack to prevent casualties.
Trump, however, said precautionary steps taken by the U.S. military ensured there were no casualties from the attack.
Some other Americans see the recent actions as a victory for Mr.
Trump, although some commentators warned that the pre-emptive strikes could be a way of giving the Trump administration a false sense of security while a bigger assault was being planned by Iran’s military.